STORY CITY — Coaches always stress there’s no defense against walks or hit batters.
That point was proven Thursday night, costing Newton’s Cardinals in a 4-3 decision. The Cardinals tied the game, 3-3, with Roland-Story’s Norsemen with a run in the top of the sixth.
With one out in Roland-Story’s half of the sixth, Michael Barr struggled with his control from the mound. Barr issued two walks and hit a batter, filling the bases with Norsemen. Barr hit the next batter with a pitch walking in the go-ahead run.
Barr and the Cardinals got out of the inning with no more damage. Barr came to bat with one gone in the seventh and singled. Evan Shimon reached safely an error on a flay ball to right field, but Barr, who had to hold up near first base on the play, was thrown out at second.
The Cardinals were still alive when Jordan Travis came through with a two-out base hit. Roland-Story reliever Ben Clark struck out Mike McCormick to end the threat and the game.
Chandler Sturtz got his first start of the season for Newton. Sturtz worked two innings, allowing two runs on three hits and had one strikeout. McCormick also saw work on the mound, throwing two scoreless innings. He gave up two hits and had one strikeout.
Jeff Stanton pitched in the fifth for the Cardinals, allowing one run on one hit and one walk. He had one strikeout.
Barr took the loss, pitching the sixth and giving up one run on two walks and had a strikeout.
Roland-Story, which is ranked third in Iowa Class 3A, took advantage of a two-out error by Newton in the second inning. The Norsemen (12-4) scored two runs in the inning, which ended when Shimon threw out Cole Birchmier trying to steal second base.
Bryce Tish and Sturtz opened the Newton third inning with back-to-back bunt singles. Barr laced an RBI double to left followed by a base hit from Shimon to drive in the tying run. Connor Gholson, courtesy runner for Shimon, was caught stealing and a ground-out ended the inning.
The Norsemen used a walk to produce their third run of the game in the fifth. So did Newton in the sixth inning.
With two gone, Derek Wrage worked a base-on-balls and Jake Bennett took over on the base paths. A base hit by Stanton moved Bennett to third base and he scored on a double by Tish.
Barr was 3-for-4 on the night with two singles and a double. Tish and Travis each connected for a single and a double. Hitting a single each were Sturtz, Shimon, Stanton and Wrage.
Newton takes a 4-7 mark into tonight’s Little Hawkeye Conference game at home against Grinnell. The Cardinals are 3-3 in conference play. First pitch is 7:30 p.m. at Woodland Park.